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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fried Rice

It is funny how food can spark nostalgia. When I think of Chinese take out, I think of going to the mall with my sister and grabbing some chicken teriyaki. We don't get to see each other very often because of our hectic schedules, but we always try to fit in one mall trip a month. We always, always, always get the chicken teriyaki with fried rice. Yum. 

Saying that I love Chinese food would be an understatement. However, living on a tight budget doesn't allow much room to order take out as much as I'd like to. Thanks to a little bit of searching and testing, I have found a fried rice that is delicious and doesn't break the bank. The original recipe called for ham, but I adapted it for a chicken household. This recipe, as the title states, is very adaptable and may be changed based upon your taste. Overall, a wonderfully delicious side that is my go-to for any take-out themed nights. 

On a side note, I was so excited to get my new camera batteries in the mail. After letting the battery charge, I took it home ready to take a picture of this beautiful rice. However, my camera had other plans and the battery was dead. One of these days, I am going to have a camera that works. 

2 cups uncooked basmati rice
2 cups water
1/2-3/4 cup chicken stock
chicken breasts (I usually use two or three.)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup carrots
1 medium onion, diced
2 eggs
3-4 tablespoons canola oil (or peanut oil)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Cook your rice. You want it a bit on the crunchy side, so resist the temptation to add more water. Let your rice cool completely. I even spread it out on a baking sheet and put it in the freezer for a few minutes if I'm in a hurry. You can even cook your rice the night before and let cool in the fridge.

Heat a wok over high heat with 1 tbs. of oil. Add eggs and scramble until cooked. Add peas, carrots, onion, or any other vegetables of choices and fry for about a minute. You can add or omit any veggie/meat combo you want. 

Remove omelet from wok. Clean the wok out a bit so the leftover egg doesn't burn while you're heating up your wok and oil again. Add remaining oil to the wok and heat over high heat until it is very hot. Add your cold rice to the wok and stir to coat every grain, adding more oil as needed.

Add chicken stock to the rice a little bit at a time to give the rice a chance to soak up the liquid. I'm not sure exactly the amount of stock to be added; I eyeball it because it seems to change every time. Basically, you want the rice to soak up the flavor, but you don't want to put in too much as it will end up quite sticky.

Stir fry for a while, stirring constantly until there is no liquid left, then chop up your omelet and add it, along with the soy sauce and salt. Stir to combine. You can add more or less soy sauce and salt according to your taste. NOTE: In this case, the salt is simply to enhance the flavor of the dish, not to make it salty.

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